What Causes Infertility in Women?
Planning a family is a huge step for any couple. There are a number of factors that have to be considered before taking the big leap. One factor to keep in mind is that 10 percent of couples in the United States have problems when they are trying to conceive. 30 percent of cases, where couples have had difficulty conceiving, lie with problems with the women, while a further 30 per cent is due to factors or problems in the male partner. The left over 40 per cent is scattered between unexplained issues and problems between both the male and the female in the equation. Problems that can arise in female reproduction are:
• Ovulation problems
• Poor egg quality
• Blocked fallopian tubes
• Polycystic ovarian syndrome
• Unexplained fertility problems
• Sperm allergy
• Combination fertility problems
The main issue that arises, which makes up about 25 per cent of cases of infertile women, is a problem with ovulation. Ovulation issues mainly come down to hormone production and include:
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS affects changes in the ovaries, pituitary gland and the hypothalamus, whereby the female body produces too much male hormone, directly affecting regular ovulation.
Abnormal FSH and LH secretion
FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone) are the two hormones that bring about your regular monthly period. Abnormalities in these hormones can be brought on by the patient being overweight or underweight, having gained too much weight too quickly or having lost too much weight too quickly and by being under constant immense stress (physical or emotional stress)
Premature ovarian failure
Premature ovarian failure is brought on by an autoimmune response whereby the body actively attacks the ovarian tissue. The mistaken attacks may lead to complete loss of the ovaries and the decreased production of estrogen.
Luteal phase defect
Luteal phase defect is brought on when the ovaries do not produce enough progesterone. Progesterone is vital in the preparation of the uterine wall lining of a fertilized egg.
Blocked or Damaged Fallopian Tubes
A blocked fallopian tube is caused by inflammation that is caused by either gonorrhea or chlamydia, where damaged tubes are caused by a previous ectopic pregnancy or previous failed pregnancy or surgery.
Blockage of the Cervix or Cervical Narrowing
Cervical Stenosis is caused by damage to the cervix, or an inherited malformation passed down from generation to generation, and results in the cervix’s failure to produce good quality mucus for sperm transportation and proper fertilization.
Problems in the Uterus
Tumors or polyps in the uterus may lead to either the disruption of implantation or the blockage of the fallopian tubes. This problem is common is women in their thirties.
Endometrioses is caused by the abnormal growth of tissues that should occur in the uterus. These tissues are known to dislodge and implant in other locations, which causes weakness in fertilization.
While these are the main causes for infertility in women, there are some cases where a cause is never found until the couple actually finds that they cannot conceive. In any case, it is vital to speak to your health care professional about these problems and get tested for them in the early stages of your family planning.